ICTA’s Disrupt Asia 2018 to feature top international start-up experts

By Daily Financial Times

Disrupt Asia 2018, Sri Lanka’s Premier Start-up Conference and Innovation Festival, is set to feature several top international and local experts in entrepreneurship, policy, innovation and startups during the conference, to be held from 3.30 pm to midnight on 11 August at Trace Expert City, Maradana.

The conference discusses the need for policy and strategy, while entrepreneurs sharing their successes and failures will provide inspiration to those hoping to take the plunge. Experts from the USA, Netherlands, UK, Singapore, Bangladesh, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka will share their knowledge on AI, digital marketing, and security, and set the stage for disruptive thinking around STEAM education, creative industries, and social entrepreneurship. Tickets for the conference can be purchased online via https://disruptasia.today/buytickets/

The Opening Keynote will be delivered by XLr8 Andhra Pradesh Technology Business Accelerator Managing Director (University of Texas at Austin extension) Glenn Robinson. He will also be one of the panellists sharing his views on the topic ‘Strategy and Policy: Will It Change Anything?’ Robinson has held executive management positions in the non-profit sector, as well as being a seasoned entrepreneur, having launched and successfully managed multiple start-up ventures. He directs all operations of the XLr8 Andhra Pradesh Technology Business Accelerator, in collaboration with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and has successfully directed and implemented an economic development program in Chile, working with the Chilean government and US multinationals. He is also a consultant to the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC, and has held Board of Director, Mentor and Advisor positions with various technology business incubators, start-ups and non-profits.

Participating in the panel discussion on ‘Disrupting Creative Industries’ will be Jeeva Productions Inc. CEO, Snake Nation Content Strategy Head, producer, and social entrepreneur Pradeepa Jeeva. She launched successful digital campaigns for bedsider.org and thetruth.com, bringing over 3 million unique views to both campaigns. She was named in Variety’s prestigious 40 under 40 ‘Hollywood’s New Leaders: 2016’, and during her time as Head of Development at Machinima Inc., she was also named by NBC Universal as ‘One of the 26 Asian Americans to watch out for in 2017’.

One of the panellists speaking about the topic of ‘Success in Failure’ is YGAP Bangladesh Country Director Nirjhor Rahman. YGAP have supported startups such as Light of Hope, an education-based social enterprise, and CriticaLink, a network of volunteer emergency First Responders. Nirjhor’s specialty is crafting and executing innovative strategies and partnership models, and working with entrepreneurs, start-ups, NGO’s, multinationals, and political leaders. He has led the Bangladesh leg of a $4MGates Foundation-backed project to introduce, pilot and commercialise new sanitation technologies in the urban areas of Bangladesh, under Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), a UK-based NGO.

Interacting with the audience on the topic ‘Raising A Million Dollars’ will be Techstars India Managing Director Ray Newal and De Investeerders Club Chairman and Managing Partner Keith Wallace. Newal is a globally-inspired entrepreneur and early-stage tech investor who decided to become an entrepreneur after starting his career and gaining experience in sales leadership roles at DoubleClick, MSN, and Yahoo. In 2008, Newal started Jigsee, a start-up dedicated to bringing new internet users in India and South East Asia online through streaming media applications which ran on popular feature phones. Having exited the company in 2015, Ray has been advising, mentoring, and investing in founders across the globe.

A Scotsman with a passion for entrepreneurs and deal-making, Keith Wallace founded the Dutch Investors Club (De Investeerders Club), where he focuses on joint investments within the Netherlands and beyond. Working with the Hivos Foundation, he was part of the team that founded Hivos Impact Investments, where he sits in the investment team and manages the portfolio companies of the Hivos Food and Lifestyle Fund (Southern Africa) and the Hivos Mideast Creatives Fund (MENA). Wallace is also Global Ringmaster of ‘Get in the Ring’, an international entrepreneurial competition that takes place in over 100 countries. He is also a panellist of the ‘Angel Investment for Beginners’ forum which takes place parallel to the conference.

The Closing Keynote will be delivered by TangoTab Social Change Director Nick Marino Jr. TangoTab is a mobile app that is used to find restaurants, where every time a user checks-in at a restaurant on the app, TangoTab feeds a person in need. To date, TangoTab is available to use in 100,000 restaurants, and has fed over 2.5 million needy people. Marino is also the Founder of MISSIOND, his Live with Purpose clothing line, and Regly a new app for the service industry. He is the co-founder of Revolving Mind Media, and will be opening his first restaurant, SubMarino’s, in late 2018. Nick is also finishing his first book ‘Living with Purpose’, set to be released in end-2018. Nick was named as one of the ‘Top Texans under the age of 30’ back in 2016.

Organised by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA), Disrupt Asia 2018 is supported by: the Ministry of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure and Foreign Employment; International Partner – IKT Norge; Knowledge Partner – PWC; Supporting Partners – GIZ Sri Lanka, Payoneer, Techstars and Trace Expert City; Payments Partner – PayHere; Volunteer Partner – GudPpl; Eco System Partner – SLASSCOM; Makerspace Partner – Igniter Space; YouTube Partner – IdeaHell; Inclusion Partner – LIRNEasia; Social Innovation Partner – UNDP Sri Lanka; Creative Pavilion Partner – Gamer.LK; and Hosting Partners – Calcey Technologies, Orange Electric, WSO2 and CodeGen.

This article provided by NewsEdge.